Sounds dramatic, right? Yet, I realized once again last week that the seeming hyperbole is actually spot on in so many ways.
I had been sitting alone in my kitchen, crying. Feeling powerless to help my husband who was in the hospital for a tricky operation. I was anxious, sad, alone and angry; my hands of support, empty.
Hang on. Was there really nothing I could do?
Suddenly, through the dark emotional miasma flashed the inspiration that has saved me time after time when I have traveled the bleak landscapes of grief, depression, loneliness, frustration, loss…and, of course, also those of jubilation, hope, compassion, transcendence.
DANCE. Get up and DANCE!
So, I put on some of my husband’s fave tunes (anthemic Stevie Wonder) and rocked out. Sending energy to my husband, the doctors, everyone in that hospital, and the universe.
Yeah, baby. DANCE! It felt SOOOOOO good.
No surprise there. For movement not only moves stress and emotions through us to release negativity, but also works its alchemy to generate positive energy that helps us and everything around us heal. And flourish!
If we are overthinking or worrying, dance centers us. It grounds us, while also helping us to lighten up and be playful. It offers the enormous wisdom of the body, wisdom we may not even be able to articulate verbally, but benefit from all the time. Yes: DANCE!
Having the gift of dance in my life has helped me appreciate the miracle of movement of all kinds. Whether that of a human body or other animal or the magic of a breeze blowing through sunlit leaves or of the undulation of ocean waves, and even of machines. My own physical journey, full of challenges and epiphanies, has opened a window into the bountiful world of movement.
Dancing has also offered a vehicle to question assumptions and to develop an expansive sense of possibility. For this I owe so much to fellow dancers and dance mentors. “Dance people” test the limits of what is possible all the time.
Our passion for movement drives us to challenge confines whether they are physical ones like fatigue and injury or mental and emotional ones like mastering choreography and dealing with performance anxiety. Since I have had this model for exploring if something might be possible, I have been able to transfer the paradigm to the rest of my life.
And then, of course, dance has given me so many experiences of transcendence. Feeling in the flow of the universe, riding an inexpressible, thrilling wave of energy. It is a spiritual experience. Dancing is my prayer.
When I consider the vast array of beauty, inspiration, faith, comfort, empowerment, joy that dancing has given me, I appreciate so deeply how dance has saved me–whether from despair, lassitude, a grey and limp existence.
So, if you are ever feeling blue or powerless or angry or baffled or euphoric or anywhere in between, maybe try a little dance. It has saved my life…maybe it can brighten or diversify or energize or, yes, even save, yours.
“Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost….”~Pina Bausch
Photo credits: Top–Alexandra; 2nd and 3rd–Rich Davis; Bottom–Arthur Fink